Skip to main content

The Surface Revealed

A few months ago Microsoft announced their entry into the new tablet market with the Surface. For the first time in a long time, people were really excited about what Redmond was showing off. With an Apple style event to kick things off, they showed off a really cool piece of technology. However, they got one thing wrong, there was no price, and no ship date. Unlike the 'king of big reveals' that Apple is, Microsoft forgot this crucial step when you have a room full of hungry journalists and bloggers looking for information.

All is better now though, since the pricing on the RT (ARM based) version has been revealed. The base level model with 32GB of memory will be launched with a $499 price tag. That puts it right in the ballpark of the iPad, which is really where Microsoft needed it to be. For an extra $100 you can get it with their revolutionary keyboard cover. Considering you'll pay ~$100 for a decent Apple keyboard cover, this isn't too bad of a pricing model. I haven't yet seen pricing on the Intel based models, so perhaps the main question is will the RT model interest enough people to be competitive.

I've been rooting for a 3rd player in the phone and tablet space, and the Surface has a bit of a chance. I'm sure Microsoft can still come up with a dozen more ways to doom it. But for now, as we wait for the big event next week, we can hope that perhaps we may be seeing the emergence of a three way race for our mindshare.

Popular posts from this blog

Push it... push it real good...

The other day I got a chance to play with the new Apple force touch trackpad. This is a new design that Apple has put on their laptops for non-mechanized clicking on trackpad. When you press on the trackpad it senses the force that you're pressing with, and when you reach a certain level, you feel a 'click'. If you keep pressing, you feel a second 'click'. The unique thing is that these 'clicks' aren't physical in nature. The trackpad never moves at all, but the click that you feel is from haptic feedback. In essence, when you press with enough force, the trackpad clicks back at you. You feel the sensation of clicking, but it's simply the trackpad responding to your pressure.

I got to play with this for a while, since the Apple Store rep was talking with us about soccer, and after a short bit I was getting the hang of it. I feel that it would take quite a bit longer though to really feel comfortable with this new paradigm. I'm someone who has a …

The beat goes on

Yesterday Apple revealed their long awaited entry into the streaming music field. They were able to do this quickly because of the acquisition of Beats last year, and the systems and intellectual property that came with that purchase. Considering that the music reveal was pretty much the only big news out of a pretty benign developer keynote, I'll take a few moments to talk about what I think about it.

Apple was perhaps the defining company in the music revolution of the past 20 years. With the introduction of the iPod that revolutionized portable music, to the creation of the iTunes store and the eventual death of DRM, Apple has been at the forefront of digital music. This leadership comes with high expectations to continue to lead, and so many people have long questioned Apple not getting into the streaming music business quicker.

For the past few years new companies have come forth to lead the change in the streaming music evolution. From Pandora and its ability to create uniqu…

Hack! Slash! Burn! Crush!!

The big tech news story of the weekend was the hacked account of Mat Honan. As documented in his posting on Wired.com, in the space of a few hours his digital life was in shambles. And as much as we always talk about strong passwords, etc., this was not a case of password failure. It was a case that shows just how our desire for on-demand, cloud based services that are convenient can come back to haunt us.

I highly suggest you go read all 4 pages of the article, but the quick summary is that a hacker wanted control of Mr. Honan's Twitter account. In order to get it, they started with basic social scouting, and proceeded to use all of the built-in tools of Google, Amazon and Apple to gain access to his accounts without ever needing to crack a single password. At Google they discovered what his Apple ID e-mail address was when they did a simple "Forgot my password" query. Then at Amazon, they called up customer service and game'd the system to get access to the last 4 …